On August 23rd, I returned to Brooklyn from the Drama League's Stump Sprouts Retreat. On August 24th, I started rehearsal at the WNYC Greene Space for Day 1 of Ma Rainey's Black Bottom. Day 1 and Play 1 of 10 plays. We were going to do staged readings of all 10 of August Wilson's extraordinary plays in 4 weeks.
When does going to rehearsal feel like a celebration of life and a coming together of family? When you are in the company of Indira Etwaroo, Executive Producer, Artistic Director and Tony Award-winner Ruben Santiago-Hudson; Associate Director and Tony Award-nominee Stephen McKinley Henderson and the amazingly talented people who came together for this project. Everyday, memories of August Wilson and Lloyd Richards flooded the Greene Space hallways. People spoke about the first time they worked on an August Wilson play. The second time they worked on an August Wilson play. The tenth time they work on and August Wilson Play; the day August came in and asked them to read new pages. Those new pages....the beginnings of Gem of the Ocean.
I am still sorting trying to put everything down in words before I forget. Until then, a few photos.